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Gov. Newsom Requests $1 Billion In Coronavirus Aid, Projects 56% Of Californians Will Contract The Disease

Gov. Gavin Newsom speaks during a news conference at the California Department of Public Health on Feb. 27, 2020 in Sacramento. Late Wednesday, Newsom called for large gatherings to be canceled (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
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Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that he has requested federal aid for California to respond to the coronavirus, including $1 billion in federal funding and a request to immediately send the hospital ship USNS Mercy to Los Angeles.

The sweeping orders came less than an hour after L.A. County officials announced similar historic measures, effective at midnight tonight.

In a letter sent today to President Donald Trump, Newsom requested that the ship be stationed here through Sept. 1. The goal: to add additional capacity to the health care system in the Los Angeles region.

He also noted that the state projects that 56 percent of California's population — 25.5 million people — will be infected with COVID-19 over an eight-week period.

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In a separate letter sent Thursday to Congressional leaders, Newsom made a number of requests, including an estimate that more than $1 billion in initial federal funding will be needed. The funding will help to purchase personal protective equipment, ventilators, tents for additional medical capacity, cots, and other sheltering supplies, according to the letter.

The federal funding will also be used to create additional health care facilities once existing capacity is exhausted, including activating state-run hospitals and deploying mobile hospitals, according to his letter to Congress. His request includes funding for counties, hospitals, and health systems, as well as for testing and treatment of the uninsured.

The governor also requested help with economic relief for individuals and businesses, as well as help for schools and universities.

Read Newsom's letter to Congress below:

You can also read Newsom's letter to President Trump here.

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An earlier version of this post incorrectly gave the date of the letter as Wednesday.

Newsom sent separate letters to the president and to Congress, askin for help for California and the L.A. region.